Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top 10 Individual Pitching Seasons

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KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke /
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1989: Mark Gubicza of the Kansas City Royals pitches during a MLB game in the 1989 season. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
1989: Mark Gubicza of the Kansas City Royals pitches during a MLB game in the 1989 season. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

No. 10) Mark Gubicza 1988

Mark Gubicza put together back-to-back great seasons to close out the 1980s. The right-hander earned the only two All-Star Game nods of his career in 1988 and 1989. We’re going with his 1988 campaign when Gubicza finished third in the Cy Young voting.

Gubicza piled up 20 wins against eight losses in his 35 starts. He put together career-lows in ERA (2.70) and WHIP (1.19) over 269 2/3 innings. The former second-round pick struck out exactly 100 more batters than he walked (183-83). He tossed eight complete games—half of which were shutouts. Two of his shutouts were two-hit gems with another being a three-hitter in his penultimate start of the season.

He tossed eight complete games—half of which were shutouts. Two of his shutouts were two-hit gems with another a three-hitter in his penultimate start of the season.

For comparison’s sake, Gubicza had a 15-11 mark in 1989. He wound up with a 3.04 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. In a lot of ways, the two seasons were quite similar. He had 36 starts, which led the league, while also pitching eight complete games with two shutouts. His home runs per nine inning rate (0.4) and strikeout rate (6.1) were exactly the same in both years.

Things unfortunately started trending down for Gubicza during the 1990s. He had just one winning season the rest of his career with only two sub-4.00 ERA campaigns. In 1997, he pitched two games for the Angels—the only games of his career he pitched for a team other than the Kansas City Royals. In total, Gubicza finished his career 132-136 with an ERA just a touch below 4.00 at 3.96. He totaled 1,371 strikeouts in his 14 seasons.

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